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Thursday, 19 October 2017

Adrian Kempe, Michael Cammalleri Help L.A. Kings Defeat the Montreal Canadiens 5-1 in an NHL Hockey Game

Adrian Kempe, Michael Cammalleri
NHL Hockey Game.

Both were beacons of hope entering this season for a Kings team desperately searching for offense.That hope was beginning to fade until a rousing revival Wednesday night included four third-period goals by the pair, resulting in a 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens to extend the best start to a season in Kings’ franchise history.

Kempe’s first career multi-goal game ended with hats raining on the Staples Center ice and Cammalleri had a particularly gratifying pair of goals to go along with two assists in his first game since the offseason signee was a healthy scratch in consecutive games.

Kempe was stoic considering the gravity of the moment, but after the 21-year-old completed his hat trick with 1:36 to play, the Swede playing in just his 31st NHL game allowed himself to soak it in.
“I was just feeling it for the moment,” Kempe said. “After I had my second one I was just feeling very comfortable on the ice. Off the forecheck I was just feeling that the puck was going to come to me.”

After Jeff Carter was injured with 38 seconds left in the first period – the Kings center appeared to be favoring his right leg after a collision with Montreal’s Jeff Petry and did not return to the game – the chain reaction landed Kempe, Cammalleri and Trevor Lewis on a line for the first time this season.

“Once they got together, they really produced,” Kings coach John Stevens said. “They seemed like they had good chemistry. Obviously to see any player get a hat trick, but to see a young player like that get a hat trick is pretty exciting.”

Six games into their season, the Kings are the only team in the NHL without a regulation loss. Household names Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Drew Doughty carried the team in the first five games, but their load was lightened by the most unexpected of sources in the Kings’ last home game before a six-game road trip.

Neither Kempe nor Cammalleri had registered a point before Wednesday. They each had four in a game that was tied with 13 minutes to play.

“It obviously feels good. It’s nice to contribute,” said Cammalleri, 35, who was drafted by the Kings in 2001. “It’s a special feeling to be back and I appreciate being here.”

Cammalleri started the two-on-one that led to Kempe’s first goal and a 2-1 lead 7:43 into the third period.

Kempe then showed off the blazing speed that enticed the Kings to call him up from the AHL for 25 games last season by streaking down the boards past the last Canadiens defender and beating goalie Al Montoya high for a 4-1 lead.

Cammalleri’s forecheck led to his last assist of the game, a nifty pass off the side of the net to set up Kempe’s slap shot, a perfect way to punctuate the night for both players.

“You’re in the game, the whole game until the last 10 minutes and you get blown out like that,” Montoya said. “This is a tough one to swallow.”

The Kings have complemented their newfound offense with the fewest goals against in the NHL entering Wednesday.

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick made 36 saves and has allowed just eight combined goals in his five starts this season.

By the time Kempe and Cammalleri were finished with their heroics, Derek Forbort’s first-period mistake that led to the Canadiens’ lone goal seemed like ancient history.

Forbort lost a turnover in the corner of the Kings’ defensive zone and when the ensuing shot from a low angle slipped through Quick’s grasp, forward Paul Byron beat Forbort to the loose puck and raked it into the open net for a 1-0 lead.

With less than three minutes to play in the first period, Cammalleri provided a power play equalizer in a fashion the Dodgers could appreciate.

When Jake Muzzin’s pass was tipped into the air, Cammalleri swatted the puck floating a foot above the ice past Montoya to tie the game.

“Probably not a lot of guys who can score that goal,” Stevens said. “But he’s a determined guy. He competed hard to score in my opinion.”


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